THE Liberal Party on Sunday denied the allegations of former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Perfecto Yasay who accused LP standard bearer Manuel Roxas II of “killing” the P27-billion pre-need industry.
Yasay had blamed Roxas for the failure of some 500,000 pre-need plan policy holders from collecting from their maturing contracts.
“Mar worked to increase the credibility of the pre-need industry,” LP spokesman Barry Gutierrez said.
“Mar put a stop to the practice of some big companies of offering unrealistic returns to encourage more people to invest. That was a pyramiding scam that Mar fought. Had he not done that, the number of victims would have been more than 500,000.
“And you can see the credibility of Mr. Yasay from the misinformation he spread. As SEC chair, he resigned in the face of accusations of usurpation and misrepresentation of authority.”
Gutierrez said that in 1998, Roxas could not have been an official of AIG as he was already in Department of Trade and Industry and was in Congress before that.
“ In both positions, he [was] not allowed to receive a salary from private concerns, and we can prove through the waiver we signed that there was no conflict of interest for Mar,” Gutierrez said.
“We protest this shoddy attempt at rewriting history solely to throw dirt at Mar.”
At the Kapihan sa Annabel forum, Yasay said Roxas was behind the collapse of the pre-need industry because he lobbied strongly for the revival of the American-owned AIG or American International Group Inc., a life insurance company.
“The P27-billion pre-need industry was the direct competitor of the lackadaisical P5-billion life insurance industry,” Yasay said.
“Mar Roxas, who was then an official of AIG, wanted life insurance to be resuscitated and the only way to do that was to kill the pre-need industry.”
Yasay said Roxas succeeded because he was then secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, which had no jurisdiction over the SEC but he managed to do it when he was under suspension as SEC chairman.
Yasay said he was compelled to come out in the open to prevent the “hypocrite” Roxas from ascending to the presidency by claiming he was fighting for the poor.
He said Roxas “lied” when he projected during the presidential debate that he was able to fight for pre-need policy holders when he was senator.
“That’s a lie. He was responsible for the killing of the pre-need industry and the impact of his abuse and misuse of powers when he was DTI secretary years ago is now felt by some 500,000 policy holders, who could no longer collect the money they had invested that was meant to send their children to college,” Yasay said.
In 1998, Yasay said, Roxas, along with then US Ambassador Jose Cuisia, lobbied for the AIG’s entry to the Philippines.
“I was the stumbling block to Roxas’ vested interest at the time, so he had me suspended so that he could push for the entry of the AIG but at the expense of the pre-need industry,” Yasay said.